Monday October 23rd 2023
West Lothian Council will develop almost 300 more electric charging points within the next three years. It is estimated that there could be anywhere between 8,000 and 25,000 electric vehicles in the county by the end of 2026. Current expectations hover just over the 13,000 mark.
To meet the surge in demand a £3.4m Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan (EVIP) has been agreed by the council’s Executive.
Council transport officers have been given the green light to develop a plan working with the Scottish Futures Trust, which will fund the spread of the network, Scottish Transport and other partners.
The Executive also agreed to raise the current kW/h tariff by 10p, taking the most expensive rapid charger fee to 50p per kW/h.
Questioned by the SNP on how the new tariffs compared with the cost of charging vehicles at home David Baird, the property and estates manager, said he had no figures on home charging costs (*) but added the tariff, set to rise in November, was in line with those in most other local authorities, and cheaper than some.
Depute council leader Councillor Kirsteen Sullivan welcomed the roll out plan but sought assurance that charging sites in school grounds- planned for the village of Seafield in her ward – would be available to the general public to use.
There is a 60/40% split between private and public funded charging points which need to be developed to meet expected growth of EV use by the end of 2026.
To achieve that 40% West Lothian plans 294 charging points at 148 sites.
Within the next three years the council plans to have 10% of spaces in council owned car parks for EVs, and more than half of households with no off-road car parking will be within a reasonable walk, at most a quarter of a mile, of a charging site.
The EVIP will be delivered by a favoured option of a concession contract.
It is estimated that the total upfront investment required to deliver the Plan objectives is £3.464 million. Enabling works would require to be funded via EVIF grant from Transport Scotland, with the remaining costs funded by the market under a concession contract.
This concession contract model allows the council to retain ownership of assets with no exposure to capital risks, which are covered by a combination of private sector investment and grant subsidy.
Concession contracts are used by public authorities to deliver services or construct infrastructure.
Funding to develop the Plan has been provided by the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Fund (EVIF). EVIF is jointly managed by Transport Scotland and Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) and aims to at least double Scotland’s public EV charging network by 2026 in a way that is aligned with the Scottish Government’s Draft Vision for Public EV Charging.
At the time of preparing the Plan, there were a total of 76 charge points across 51 locations in West Lothian. This figure includes the 32 units owned by West Lothian Council which are currently operated through the ChargePlace Scotland network. Of the 76, currently only 25 are privately operated.
The report concluded that the development of the council’s first Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan is a key step in ensuring that there is a robust charging network across West Lothian that supports the just transition from conventional cars and other light vehicles to low carbon equivalents.
The Executive was told updates on development of the business case will be provided to the Environment & Sustainability Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel and Executive as required.
* Electricity Price for customers on a standard variable tariff (default tariff) is 27 pence per kWh. EV drivers can move to an energy tariff specifically designed for owners of electric vehicles who want to be able to charge them at home in the most affordable way. These tariffs usually offer a lower rate per unit of electricity used at night, for example Octopus Go charges 7.5 pence per kWh for six hours overnight.Tweet Share on Facebook